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The Benefits of Yakisugi

Yakisugi (焼杉) is a traditional Japanese method of wood preservation by slightly charring the surface of the wood to increase durability. In the West, it is also called Shou sugi ban (焼杉板).

The technique of burning the surface of the wood improves the weather resistance performance, prevents decay, rot, and insect infestation, and makes the wood more resistant to fire than a non-heat-treated cypress plank. Today it used to not only create a dramatic and highly chic elegant visual with an often-reptilian texture (if you go with our Sumi) but also has some incredible scientifically proven benefits as well. It could be used for interior and exterior applications. Residential, commercial and hospitality.

Here’s below a few highlights:

Durable and long lasting

The life expectancy of Yakisugi is estimated at more than 80-90 years when properly maintained. You can still see some old Japanese houses with over 120 years old Yakisugi structure.

Weather resistant

The carbon layer produced by charring the wood is resistant to weathering and fading very much the same way that stains or sealants would. The sun’s rays do not fade. Resistant for all kind of climate which can be humid or dry with extreme temperature fluctuations between seasons. This charring technique provide a very cost-effective way of weatherproofing homes.

Fire Retardant

By slightly charring the surface of the wood, you essentially get rid the wood of its softer outer layer. When the wood is being burned, the porous material within the wood’s inner layer starts to close its pores and becomes much more stable and durable. This first step of the process will also make the wood more stable and stronger overall. This carbonization process of the outer layer of the wood, creates a layer of carbon that prevents the wood from burning quickly, which is what makes the Yakisugi flame-retardant.

Water Resistant

When the wood is being charred, the pores within the wood start to shrink and close. What this means, is that it becomes much more difficult for the board to soak up and take on water.

Rot Resistant

Burning the wood is another choice for preserving the wood from decay since carbon does not rot.

Pest/Insect Resistant

Termites and other wood-consuming insects hate the layer of carbon produced by charring. Indeed, this process gets rid of soft wood cellulose, turning it to char. As a result, Yakisugi resists bugs without pesticides or other potentially harmful chemicals.

Aesthetics Appeal

Striking. Very eye catching. A fusion of the modern and the elemental. Highly chic and elegant, enigmatic with a touch of drama and a kind of matteness and fineness of grain in the charring that is unlike anything else in the building industry.

You can get a variety of beautiful colors out of it depending on how deep you burn and how deep you brush, to further alter or enhance colors - and it can be stained as well.


If the intended use is to have it outside and exposed to weather (siding, fences, etc.), it should be oiled about every 10-15 years, which is fairly standard for exterior wood treatment. It will retain its color better and will remain water-resistant longer if it is well-maintained.

For interior purposes where it will mostly be seen and not touched, it will require virtually no maintenance.

In the end, Yakisugi is not only visually appealing but offers so many incredible features that will convince you in your next project...

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